Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Darwin Day

Yes, it so happens to be his birthday, following the announcement yesterday of yet one more (kind of unnecessary) vindication of general relativity. It's worth noting here that it was general relativity, and the subsequent discovery of the expanding cosmos, that led straight to the modern understanding of cosmology and the horribly named "big bang" theory. I prefer to call it the Initial Singularity, or IS theory, because there was no bang.

Anyway, the have a deep philosophical connection, not in a positive sense -- they don't need each other to be true -- but in a negative sense, which is only important to humans right now. Between them, they dispose of God. They don't exactly make God impossible (especially since the concept is not consistently defined) but they make he/she/it completely unnecessary.

The trouble is, the more we learn about the universe the more pointless it seems, from our point of view. Which indeed it is. It isn't about us at all, we just happen to find ourselves here. I'm not sure why that's so difficult for so many people to accept. It doesn't bother me at all, we still are what we are and what is meaningful to us still matters -- but only to us. That's good news! We don't have to worry about how a merciful God could give us earthquakes and evildoers, or what we're supposed to put on the altar. We can go about explaining earthquakes and evildoers without any bother about that nonsense. And we don't have to ask "Why me?" when something bad happens to us. No particular reason other than the reasons you can observe.

So let's celebrate.

No comments: